Last week I went with my husband and a few of his friends to Dublin for a long weekend. A break from Italy! But I was hesitant to go on the trip because most of my husband’s friends think I’m weird. I mean, I AM weird, but usually my weirdness is kind of endearing to my friends in the US. Here, it’s not very endearing, here instead of the, “She’s unique,” look, I get the, “She is going to ax murder her family,” look. In all fairness I might ax murder THEIR family, but not my own. How dare they. Anyhow, I was so worried about the trip that I was having a panic attack at the airport in Rome before leaving. I don’t know how to interact with people anymore. Not awesome.
Wait, speaking of me being crazy, I should back up. First I should tell everyone about leaving Oliver with a new dog-sitter and how I insulted our current sitter by telling her horror stories about dog cruelty. It all started with the internet. I was looking around when I stumbled on some horrible tragedy that happened in Ohio. Some lunatic who owned a dog kennel starved eight of his sixteen dogs to death. I read this the day before we were supposed to leave Oliver with someone we’d never met because our sitter couldn’t take him. However, she knew this other woman and assured us that he would be safe. For some reason I had to mention the article. I don’t know why but I wanted to share my nervousness with someone. So, I casually mentioned to our sitter that I was more worried than usual about leaving Oliver because of THIS ARTICLE I read and I sent her the link. It didn’t really occur to me that she would think that I was suggesting that she might kill my dog. I was not. I was merely saying that I was worried more than usual because Oliver was going to a new person and I just read this story about a human killing eight dogs. So, basically, I was saying I was slightly (illogically) worried that the new person might starve my dog to death. A totally illogical fear, but it seems less illogical after you read a news story like that. Anyhow, our dog sitter was understandably offended. But she was still nice and professional and took us to meet the new dog sitter who was very sweet and didn’t look evil at all. Yes, everyone, I do have some issues when it comes to Oliver. I get it. Shut up. So anyways, we left Oliver in good hands and drove to Rome to catch our flight to Ireland.
We arrived in Dublin around ten p.m. starving and freezing. I imagine this is how most stories start out when someone is describing Ireland. We met up with an Irish friend who I’ll call Dr. Cohones because he asked me repeatedly over the course of the weekend to NOT BLOG ABOUT HIM. Noted. So, instead I’ll blog about a different Irish professor who is very similar in both action and character but who goes by an odd spanish rap name. Dr. C picked us up and walked us around Trinity College and into the Temple Bar area where we found an amazing Persian fast food restaurant. We ate. I didn’t say more than two words because I was busy eating and observing Dr. C to figure out if it was safe to talk to him. Afterwards we headed to a pub nearby to meet two other guys for drinks who had just flown in from random parts of Europe. We’ll call them Dr. O, and Dr. K. Yes, they are all actually Dr’s and yes everyone was smarter than me. I’m okay with that. Mostly. We arrived at the very generically decorated Irish pub, dark wood, random four leaf clovers, smell of moldy beer mixed with hopeful testosterone and self-loathing. I ordered a vodka grapefruit and sat down nervously with the guys. Back home most of my friends are male so being in a big group of men feels natural to me, not in a Jenna Jameson kind of way, but in a, I don’t have to talk about stuff that I hate, kind of way. I suck at small-talk. I hate it. I am weird when I do it and the result is often me staring at the other person for an uncomfortably long time while I search for something, “polite,” to say. So, you can imagine how relieved I was when the guys started talking about sheep sex almost right away.
“How often do you suppose men lie down with sheep in Ireland?”
“How would we find out the statistical average? A poll? Do you think that this information has been documented already? What would you say the average might be for number of sheep partners per rural man?”
“You can’t really trust a survey of information comparing countries because one country might be more proud of their bestiality while another is more ashamed. It would impact the accuracy of the survey’s.”
“Why a sheep and not a pig?”
“Height? Also, nobody wants to fuck a pig when they can fuck a sheep.”
“Has anyone read Who Is Silvia? Fantastic book about a man who falls in love with a goat.”
“Ah! A goat! What about goats!”
I was feeling very comfortable and at home because something I am good at is random theoretical discussions. Then we packed up our things and headed around the corner to our weekend home, a two bedroom apartment the seven of us would be sharing. It sounds like a bad idea but it was actually very comfortable. The downstairs was a blood donation clinic, a good sign, and the elevator had a Purell hand sanitizer attached to it. Great!
When we entered we were all very happy that the apartment was nice and the boys were kind enough to give me and Francesco our own room. Three of the boys shared the other room and when the other two arrived we would put them in the living room on the pull-out sofa beds.
The next morning I stumbled out into the living room to find coffee on the table. BIG COFFEE hand delivered by Dr. K. Right then I decided that I loved him and everyone and Ireland. Life was going to be good. No screaming Italians, no rude poodle, just big coffee and alcohol. Life is awesome even if it is freezing and raining every day. Freezing and raining. Hmm. “What is the suicide rate in Ireland?” I asked as the rest of the guys stirred and entered the kitchen area. We drank our coffee and contemplated. I looked something like a heroin addict and feeling very sorry for the others decided it was time to put on my artificial face, the more attractive one, so we could head off to the Leprechaun museum (Yes, my idea, and surprisingly the guys were into it.)
Then we went out for a long walk. We had breakfast. We had more big coffee. We went to the Guiness museum where some asshole told me that Leprechauns were not real. I learned how to pour Guiness and so now I’m thinking about quiting writing and moving to Ireland to be a professional bartender. Dr. K was trying to decide the appropriate hair length to maximize job opportunities. I suggested that hair was a symbol for testosterone and since he had been blessed with many the flowing locks he should become a eunich. Historically people liked to hire them because they were non-threatening in terms of wives and power (since they can’t produce an heir). My idea was vetoed but people still spoke with me afterwards so I consider my suggestion a success.
After the Guiness museum we walked past this interesting market and I had to go inside. Lucky for me I did because I was able to get a quick ten minute massage in a tiny pink room, by a lovely Japanese girl, next to the bunny/bird taxidermy. The guys were kind enough to wait. Thank you.
After my massage we went found an amazing punk rock bar where we played pool. We spent the following four or five hours there playing pool, drinking, and listening to Iron Maidon. Heaven.
Around nine p.m. the two other guys arrived from London. The seven of us headed to a nice pub for a quick dinner before heading out to a cocktail bar where we took shots for women’s day, more drinking at a different bar and me telling Dr. K my entire life story and theories on sexual fluidity while he hid his judgements well (which I appreciated) and then we continued to some sort of dive club that was having a 1990’s throwback night. We danced to the top 90’s jams, and I played air guitar with an awesome girl I had met once before in Florence. It’s always nice when you can find someone who is in their thirties who is still willing to play air guitar on their knees in a club. Thank you, Dr. Awesome. One of the friends, Dr. Irish, passed out and paid a cab driver to basically drive him around Dublin until he later found his way back to the apartment around 6 a.m. At least he made it “home” safely and was able to laugh at himself afterwards, which I admire. I have to say he was in luck though, otherwise he would have been stuck with us and the serpent troll. While this was happening, some kind of Irish serpent creature followed us home, hitting on my husband, and talking in a fake Italian accent about her, “ragazzo italiano” whom she claimed to love a lot. “Is it safe for me to go back to the apartment will all those guys?” She asked. I shrugged, “I don’t think anyone wants to gang rape you.” Somehow, she found this comforting and trolled home with us. She sat at our table eating our Doritos while continuing on in her fake accent. “Misty, please tell her to get up on a fucking table and dance or leave. And stop eating our fucking chips!” Said Dr. C. She was that irritating. Dr. L was kind and tried to have polite conversation. My husband however, kept trying to argue with her and repeatedly yelled something about Italian men wanting to have sex with their mothers. No, I didn’t understand either.
The next day after we got ready we went for lunch at a nice Lebanese restaurant. I was so happy to eat something non-Italian that I couldn’t stop eating. All I wanted to do was eat. Now I know what it’s like to be a fat kid. It feels great! After the Lebanese restaurant Dr. F wanted to do some shopping so went to some Irish sweater shop where I forced various people to try on warm and sexy sweaters. It was fun! Most of us bought a hat to shield us from rain, and provide some sort of way to find eachother when lost. We also wanted to look like old irish men.
Oh, and then I found this:
Then we drank more beer, more vodka, more things. We ended up in some random part of town with hippies and more drinking. Dr. K and I discussed the details of ownership and I agreed that he would make a lot of money as a high paid, “business partner.” I offered my management services. Drunk at three a.m. we felt confident in our abilities to become rich, not the first time I’ve tried fancy pimping, probably not the last. Anyhow, we ended up at some random place where some random dick tried to fight us on the street by gurgling nonesense in our faces. I didn’t know I was allowed to fight and nobody told me that I was so I was a LADY and acted very grown up. Go ME! Then we went to another club that was dark with dancy music and strobe lights. Dr. O was hitting on a woman at the bar. I tried to be a good wing-man by doing push-ups on the bar to show her how awesome we are (drunk logic) where she turned and said, “You’re cute. I’m trying to be a lesbian, want to help me with that?” I said, “I can’t because I’m married.” Then I turned and bunny-hopped away because that’s what I do when I’m awkward=act like a rabbit. Then I hid from her. I know from experience that when women get in that mode it’s not long before I’m being physically assaulted to it’s best to keep a distance and/or hide behind a group of seven men. Oh! Snow white with giants. Winning!
That was basically the end. We went home and passed out. Had a cute brunch the next day as people left one by one for their flights back home. Oddly, it was sad. I hadn’t anticipated a good time yet it was fun enough that I wasn’t prepared to return to my solitude.
And that’s the lesson: You never know.
P.S. The “new” sitter was great and Oliver was healthy and happy when we returned. Although he did pee the bed the first night back. Rude.